Chris Young is not a strikeout pitcher. If you’ve watched even an inning of his this year, you already know that. He’s running a K/9 of 3.35, which is embarassingly, problematically low. His career rate is a paltry 7.40…wait, seriously, it’s not 2.5 or something? If you’re stunned to learn that Young’s typically been able to whiff batters at over twice his current rate, you’re not alone. I never knew that until looking it up just now, and it makes his terrible 2014 look all the worse.
Young’s non-strikeouts stand out next to his 3.53 BB/9, which is to say he’s walking more guys than he’s striking out. I’ve used this comparison before, but here it is again because this nonsense is stil going on: as a 2013 Seattle Mariner, Jeremy Bonderman had 3.76 K/9 and 3.99 BB/9. He started seven games, good for 38.1 innings of awful. Young’s at 51 IP over eight starts, and it’s adamantly clear that his early ERA luck is earning him chances beyond what his underlying performance warrants. We’ll see how long this lasts. He’s probably a James Paxton rehab appearance away from being a reliever, which is for the best. Bonderman ended the season with more strikeouts than walks after becoming a mopup guy for Detroit.
So Chris Young, in Arlington yesterday: 6.1 IP (good!), seven hits (whatever), four runs (yeah gross) all earned (typical), two homers (terrible), one strikeout (yikes), and three walks (hideous). This has become the Young prototype: somehow go deep into the game, maybe prevent a run or two, but allow homers and issue more free passes than Ks. Elvis Andrus and Shin-Soo Choo hit homers for Texas, and one notes that Andrus sucks at hitting. Nonetheless, Young gave up a two-run dinger. Ugh. Young sucks. This team so badly needs a long reliever.
Robinson Cano hit a home run. Robinson Cano hit a home run? Robinson Cano hit a home run! His second dinger of the season came in the same park as did his first, and boy was it ever satisfying to see that. Cano’s been getting Smoaked at the warning track a lot lately, and it’s awesome to see one find it’s way over the fence. James Jones tripled leading off the fourth, and if you aren’t head over heels for Jones yet then you’re going to be cynical during the Mariners World Series parade. Michael Saunders singled him home, and then Cano hit his blast. Three baserunners, three runs, Mariners tie a game they’d been losing since the first.
The M’s wouldn’t score again, but Cano did add another hit to move his average to .326, second to Victor Martinez in the American League. At 1.1 WAR, Cano becomes the first Seattle position player to top a win this season. His wRC+ is up to 119, and all of a sudden he’s slugging .443 – not good, but also finally significantly higher than his OBP. He’s turning it around, to be sure. He’s getting going, and it’s a blast to watch. Long live Robinson Cano. Double his ISO and he’s back to being one of the very best players there is. He’s capable of doubling his ISO, too. This is going to be so much fun.
Time for a home series against the Houston Astros! The Lastros are awful and in last place, of course, because that’s their identity and they appear to be damn proud of it. Roenis Elias vs. Jarred Cosart, 7:10, Safeco Field. The M’s have a +10 run differential that is better than all but four AL teams. The A’s are at +99, and the Tigers are next at +99. Gonna out and say it: this division is unwinnable. Nobody will ever know how Oakland does it, but they’ve done it. What a team. Sorry, what were we talking about? The Astros? They’ll be here for four days and it’d be nice to see the M’s capitalize against them for once. For freaking once.